hens with chicks drive juveniles and subadults away from feed patches

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by centrarchid, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,883
    2,531
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have two hens, one red jungle fowl and one American game, with chick with heads and most of body still covered in down. At end of each day I distribute feed in small piles about berry patch. All sub-flocks now coming running and intermingle with considerable strife. One sub-flock is made of 11 indviduals about 18 weeks old (sub-adults), another of 9 individuals at 13 weeks, and another of 7 individuals at 9 weeks. The sub-adults are at least as large as game hen and nearly double weight of red jungle fowl. Regardless of who gets to feed piles first, hens can drive off any of the sub-flocks and will do so at expense of their own feeding opportunity so long as chicks can eat. Once feed piles dispered by scratching hens have greater difficulty driving off sub-flocks. Game rooster can drive sub-flocks regardless of how food is dispersed. Hens with chicks can then feed in immediate vicinity of rooster and he makes no effort to drive them off.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by